Goodbye, 13th Air Force

The Air Force inactivated 13th Air Force, headquartered at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, transferring its airpower planning and execution functions to Pacific Air Forces headquarters, also at Hickam. “Our commitment to the region remains steadfast,” said Lt. Gen Ted Kresge, who led the numbered air force up to its standdown, in an Oct. 2 Hickam release. “The joining of 13th AF and PACAF not only ensures an effective response in a crisis, but also facilitates increased trust and interoperability with allies and partners,” added Kresge, who will now become PACAF’s vice commander, according to the release. The inactivation took place on Sept. 28 in a ceremony that also celebrated the NAF’s 70-year history of supporting the Pacific region. In Air Force parlance, PACAF is a C-Majcom, or component major command, that now has direct operational responsibility under US Pacific Command for the area of the Asia-Pacific region formerly covered by 13th AF. PACAF’s 7th Air Force at Osan AB, South Korea, still has operational responsibility for the Korean peninsula and northwest Pacific. In addition to 13th AF, the Air Force stood down 17th AF in April and inactivated 19th AF in July as part of a service-wide initiative to operate more efficiently and shed redundancy.